Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Mission 'Dare to Die' Towards The Sun

Located 150 million kilometers from Earth, the Sun is so stinging hot. How does it feel hot when the Sun was approached by up to seven million kilometers distance? That is now being designed with the United States National Space Agency (NASA), toward the Sun. 

More than 400 years, astronomers studying the behavior of the Sun from a distance. Now, as for NASA observed the Sun directly to the source. Why would observe the Sun from the Earth if it can be approached, so maybe the thought of NASA.

''We will visit a breathing star for the first time, directly to the center,''said NASA scientist, Lika Guhathakurta, last week. For astronomers, the Sun is relatively unexplored territory compared to the other members of the solar system. Moon, Earth satellites, already since 1969 to accommodate humans. And, countless unmanned mission landed. 

Finally, the unmanned spacecraft NASA's Phoenix landing on the northern pole of Mars, May 25, 2008. Spacecraft that will launch a three-month investigation of the planet closest to the Earth's.

As if to repeat the success of the Phoenix, unmanned spacecraft called Solar Probe + (read Solar Probe Plus) will be launched. Its mission unmitigated, touching the sun's atmosphere. A mission of 'dare to die', it came, would not return.

How could the plane landed at the Sun? Is the material does not shrink the heat sucked the star? Apparently, these questions have answers prepared by NASA.  

Because diskenariokan nyemplung into Sun's atmosphere - where the wind lick the Sun (solar wind) and magnetic storms would threaten the - plane Solar Probe + is an extension of the previous spacecraft, Solar Probe, will be designed heat resistant. 

NASA aircraft that will prepare the material can withstand heat up to a certain distance from the Sun. Indeed, the preparation does not ujug-ujug. 

John Hopkins' Applied Physics Lab (APL) who prepared the aircraft design. APL has a preliminary research on the needs of aircraft models designed heat resistant sun. 

In January 2008, the aircraft named APL MESSENGER has completed its mission around Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. Reflecting from MESSENGER, Solar Probe + will be fortified with heat-resistant technologies similar. To note, there daytime heat of 467 degrees Celsius. 

Solar Probe + will be kept a maximum distance of closest seven million km from the Sun or nine times the radius of the Sun. The sun will appear 23 times wider than viewed from Earth. 

At that altitude, the aircraft must be heat-resistant material of more than 1400 degrees Celsius. Not only that, the aircraft must also immune to radiation exposure at levels that have never made before. ''We have a lot of work to think about. Nevertheless, this is very exciting,''says Guhathakurta. 

Expected, the plane was able to be launched in 2015. Targeted aircraft mission ended seven years later, with the goal to solve two great mysteries of astrophysics and discover new things along the journey. 

Two of the mystery, first, knowing the temperature of the corona of the Sun. Corona is the outermost layer of the Sun's atmosphere. Is called the photosphere, chromosphere next. 

When the thermometer is placed on the surface of the Sun, the needle will point to 6000 degrees Celsius. Strangely, the more out, the temperature get hot atmospheric layers. 

So far, the temperature of the corona is expected to reach one million degrees Celsius, hundreds of times hotter than the temperature in the deep layers of the atmosphere of the Sun. This high temperature remains a mystery for 60 years. The second mystery, the solar wind (solar wind). The explosion caused a chain reaction in the center of the Sun, causing terlontarnya charged particles with speeds of millions of meters per second (mph). 

These particles are ejected to be felt the planets, asteroids, and comets. Notice, a comet tail formed by the solar wind. That attract attention, how the wind is formed to be mementalkan particles toward the entire solar system? 

''To uncover these mysteries, Solar Probe + will actually enter the corona. The place where the action took place,''says Guhathakurta. In order to open the curtain, a number of tools also taken along. For instance, magnetometers, plasma wave sensor, dust detector, electron and ion analyzer, and hemispheric imager (HI). Equipment''that will help unravel the physical heating the corona and solar wind velocity.'' 

In the meantime, HI is a telescope that is used to create three-dimensional picture of the corona. The technique is known as coronal tomography. 

Launched in May 2015, Solar Probe + will launch its main mission when the solar cycle24 end and finished when the maximum solar cycle25 in 2022. Solar activity cycle is the maximum-minimum energy of the Sun with an average incidence of 11 years. 

Solar cycle effects can be seen in layers that can be kambium tree crop age parameters. Solar Probe + will also examine some sun at the end of the storm mission. Solar energetic particle is a threat to astronaut health and safety will also be investigated Solar Probe +. 

Before reaching the corona, Solar Probe + will be thrown by using gravity planet Venus. This unmanned aircraft will be around Venus seven times in six years to get the style of throwing, so the closer to the Sun's atmosphere. 

Imagine throwing a game disc. The athletes will rotate to obtain the maximum palmyra style. On Venus, though not the primary mission, astronomers will learn new things from the planet when a device was thrown using the gravitational effects of Venus. Solar Probe +''is a remarkable mission of exploration, discovery, and understanding. We can not wait to get started,''says Guhathakurta. (Source: